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Featured Categorizing your life by Special Interests?

Discussion in 'Obsessions and Interests' started by SliverOfSand, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. SliverOfSand

    SliverOfSand Active Member

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    I’m wondering if anyone else categorizes their life through the different special interests they’ve had. I think about it a lot. How all of the different interests I’ve had in my life are all interconnected, yet have a distinct phase on their own.

    For example, I’ve always loved video games, but depending on what games I played at the time I can tell you what age I was and why I liked it. So at 11 I really liked sonic the hedgehog until about 13, at which point I was really interested in other Sega games, like NiGHTS or Crazy Taxi. That lead me into racing games at around 15, (which also lead to watching Initial D) and two years later I got really into Tetris. Of course, there were many smaller interests along the way, but because all of my interests are somehow interconnected, I can trace them back to a certain point in my life.

    In the end, all of my interests connect with other significant events in my life. I really got into video games when I was in school because I felt very lonely. So the interest was strongest at certain low points.... It’s like I have one interconnected filing system in a computer that has a main strand that sometimes branches off at different points.

    I’m not sure if this makes any sense, but I’m interested to see if anyone else does something similar, or if you have a different system for categorizing your life, if any?
     
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  2. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    l catorgize my life by events, places. Tropical Island events, mainland events, European events. Now that l am older, it's final place l die in. lol. So simple. Because family was never that strong of an influence in my life.
     
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  3. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I don't know if it's a Borderline obsession, a special interest, or something else altogether, but I categorize my life by the person my life revolves around at the time, which 2/3 times has been a romantic relationship.
     
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  4. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    Probably by the time I go out to eat or leave my home. About all I keep track of now.
     
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  5. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, video games are mine, and I tend to think of it as the periods when different consoles/platforms/computers came into play.

    The different eras for me tend to be linked to more than one at a time though:

    1.
    Atari 2600.
    I was born in '81. Still a huge fan of this thing even today, I play it frequently. There has never been a period in which I DIDNT make use of this a lot. Granted, the method I use to play it today is... different, to put it mildly.

    2.
    NES, Tandy 1000 PC (DOS)
    There isnt much I get nostalgic for more than that ancient computer. This was back in the early days of home computers. Compared to today's machines, well... cant get much more primitive than this. No hard drive, and could really only handle displaying 4 colors at once most of the time. I can always recite the 3 most common color schemes: 1. Cyan,Magenta,white,black 2. Red,orange,green,black 3.green,yellow,red,blue. There were others possible but those were the usual sets. Resolution was extremely low and there were no hard drives. Good ol' floppy disks. 1 megabyte was a lot of space. This thing was actually branded by Radio Shack, and apparently cost 5 bazillion dollars. The thing automatically booted to a program called "Deskmate", the main screen for that is burned into my memory. Also... ASCII. Freaking ASCII! SO many games were made using that type of "graphics" in those days. ASCII would come to have a certain importance to me much, MUCH later on, but I never could have known that at the time.
    I was in grade school while these were around.

    3.
    SNES, Tandy 2500 (DOS)
    I still remember getting the SNES for my birthday. Remember that very clearly. But other than that, again, that old-as-dirt computer is the big thing. Looking it up, it turns out that the 2500 model is very rare... for some reason. Freaking Wikipedia doesnt know what it is, dont see THAT very often. VGA graphics were a thing at this time. 256 colors! Amazing! Much like the previous computer, there's a certain look and feel to the graphics this thing put out, that just cant be replicated by anything today. One of those things where you'd have to see a real one working in person to see what I mean. Deskmate was still a thing.

    4.
    SNES, Tandy 2500 (DOS & Windows 3.1)

    Oh man, I remember this. I dont remember exactly which year it was, but as a special gift for finishing the school year, I received... a copy of Windows 3.1. Back then this was SUPER exciting. Opened up a whole new world of software and gaming, with a new and exciting operating system. Well, I say "operating system" but it still was never the core of the machine. It actually ran under DOS, you had to start it up from the command prompt. These days, of course, it's the other way around. You wanna use DOS, you go get DOSBox and run it under Windows. What really gets me though is that getting a copy of Windows back then was this huge positive thing that I loved. But now... well, Windows has fallen very, very far from what it used to be. Now it's just awful. I miss 3.1, a lot.

    5.
    Pentium PC of some sort, running Windows 95

    Hoboy NOW things were ramping up. I'm talking about the ORIGINAL Pentium. This was a big freaking deal at the time. It had a CD drive! Mindblowing. I still had all the consoles too, of course.

    6.
    N64, Mario 64, and Pokemon

    Oh man. No other game blew my freaking mind quite like Mario 64. The Mario series was always my main thing, and I'd played a bazillion other platformers too. And now... HOLY SNORKS IT'S IN 3D!!! The idea of playing a game in full 3D like that was amazing. Also, Pokemon hit the States, and WOW what a craze that was. On the ancient Gameboy! No freaking color! But it was a Big Freaking Deal back then. I was in high school at this time.

    7.
    Freaking ***DOOM***

    This one gets a listing by itself because this wasnt just a game for me. This is where I started to get a real interest in things like game development and level design. I had this enormous book, like 1200 pages, that was all about how to make levels for Doom and Doom 2. These days it's super easy to do. Back then it was extremely complicated... there's a reason that book was so huge. You couldnt use just one editor, there was a bunch of them that served different functions, and then a program that Did Things to a level file to prepare it for actual use, that took forever. I got really into it. I didnt know it at the time, but this would have a lasting influence on me that would sort of set up the "style" I use for design today. Also I got to know the game's bugs really intimately. Know what the "hall of mirrors" is? A freaking nostalgic glitch, that's what it is.

    8.
    Gamecube, Animal Crossing, and Everquest

    UGH see this is when things were less pleasant. I was in college, you see. It was awful. And strange. What type of college screws up it's campus via construction and then holds classes in random hotel rooms? That college, is what kind. And I say "campus" lightly, as it wasnt really that type of college. No dorms or any of that nonsense. I drove back and forth from home. Back and forth to random freaking hotels, bah. Well yes there were classes in the main building too but really half of the place was always an unusable mess, so... yeah. The Gamecube was around at the time, and I always associate that thing with Animal Crossing. THAT game was something special. It's another one of those games that has a unique "feel" to it... hard to describe, but that feeling was lost with later games. Also that version of AC had entire NES games hidden in it, which was mindblowing. Also at this time I was really, REALLY into MMOs. Everquest came out and was AMAZING. Know what a "corpse run" is? I'll tell you what it is, it was the reason why you'd do damn near anything to keep from dying in that game. MMOs werent very friendly back then. I stayed into the genre until WoW came and corrupted everything years later.

    9.
    PS2

    I dont work these days, but this is when I did used to have to work. What a miserable mess. The PS2 and certain games on it would change my life, much to my endless surprise. I had no idea where this thing was about to take me. Thinking about it now, I owe so much to that blasted machine.

    10.

    PS2, Wii, Xbox, Baroque

    Work ended, my home situation changed. Well, everything changed. Now, what is Baroque, you ask? The game that introduced me to roguelikes, and like Doom, it would forever influence my game design style, and gaming interests. I still rank it as probably my favorite game of all time. The PS2 & Wii version, specifically, not the weird original version.

    11.
    PS3 and so on, but then PC instead, also The Pain

    The consoles were getting icky around this time. I switched over to PC gaming. But the PS3 was all about LittleBigPlanet. Also right around here is when my back locked up for the first time. "I've fallen and I cant get up" sounds like a stupid joke, until you're the one writhing on the floor. Then it stops being funny.

    12.
    PC, indie games, Minecraft, bad arm

    Switched exclusively to indies, because screw it, the AAA stuff was really sucking. Also, freaking MINECRAFT. Oh yes, I'm a fan. I was there before the chickens were. Zombies dropped feathers! Not all positive though: 2 weeks after Minecraft happened, my arm flared up for the first time. No more gaming with a mouse... I learned to rig a controller to emulate the mouse instead. Minecraft didnt support a controller, you see. This lasted about 2 years, and then therapy helped. Though it wasnt the only pain-related issue... that's a whole other story though.

    13.
    Ultra-rig PC, full virtual reality, also still indie games

    This is where I am now. I mentioned earlier using a unique method to play the Atari 2600 these days. Well, this is that method. Instead of just running an emulator... how about we "emulate" an entire 80s-style bedroom, complete with CRT screens and consoles, in virtual reality? Hook up the virtual 2600 console to the virtual TV, and play it in there. Incredible. No... "unreal" is how I'd describe it, as the crazy thing feels like some sort of impossible fever dream every time. If you had shown me this when I was a kid... well, I dont know what I'd have done, but it would have been messy. Using VR to create an entire retro arcade is another thing I frequently do here, as I'd been a fan of arcade games for a LONG time. Whole thing is just brain-meltingly amazing.
     
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  6. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    No real specific way stands out for me of classifying my life. Partly my work history, and also the areas I have lived, and I can also do this in terms of self development strategies and significant friends connected to these. I certainly have used work and self development as special interests, so that ties it together perhaps. And I do get attached to the areas I live, and revisit them fondly.
     
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  7. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    Life events categorize my life, especially places where I used to live. Gaming has been good but I would say it’s a nice addition in life.
     
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  8. MyLifeAsAnAspie

    MyLifeAsAnAspie Well-Known Member

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    Special interests do not mark periods of my life at all. People I interact with and places I spend my time would be the main markers. Special interests have been important to me and usually overlap the more important markers of my life. I think I have always realized that interests which don't facilitate larger goals in life must not become consuming long term. In the short term they have been all consuming many times.

    The scientist in me wants to see this thread as a breakthrough in understanding ASD in adults :). In thoughts on how this subject relates to how much you have achieved life goals?
     
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  9. SliverOfSand

    SliverOfSand Active Member

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    This is amazing! I love learning about different computers and games. Do you find yourself coming back to those games, or is it only the Atari 2600?

    Also, that VR setup sounds like a dream! Did you create the room yourself, or is it software you can buy? Unfortunately I don’t have any VR setup, or else I would definitely look into something like that!
     
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  10. SliverOfSand

    SliverOfSand Active Member

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    I also think of the friends I’ve had, but again, these are mostly connected through special interests. Like, I would play Minecraft and racing games with one friend, and retro games with the other. Currently I don’t have friends that I would hang out with (besides the COVID situation) so I find that my special interests are a good way to organize my life, since they are usually a constant.

    I haven’t moved much in my life, but I can imagine that it would be a main way to categorize one’s life.
     
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  11. SliverOfSand

    SliverOfSand Active Member

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    I think it is because I find greater achievement in my special interests compared to other aspects of my life. Video games are definitely not my only interest. I also love typewriters, instruments, and art (to name a few). I’m actually just starting to get some commissions for graphic design work, and this fills me with so much more satisfaction than working at a job that doesn’t interest me. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ll quit working so I can exclusively obsess over my interests; I just feel much happier and more accomplished when I’m doing something involving my interests. I think that’s why I use it as a way of categorizing my life, because in all the other aspects of life I just have a lot of negative experiences, so I focus on special interests instead, if that makes sense?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
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  12. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Here, have a look at this:



    Specifically, skip to 15:00. That's the program I use for playing the old Atari games in there. Yeah, resolution on the video isnt the best, I havent exactly mastered the art of using recording software, heh. Recording VR footage is complicated.

    Anyway, that part of the footage lets you see what the room is like, and a bit of how I interact with it. Note that when a game is running there's no sound here, well, that's a recorder screwup... there's full sound for all games when I'm actually in the program. I've no bloody clue why it didnt come through into the video. Note also that this program is still in beta, it's not finished. That's why the consoles themselves and the cartridges have a "generic" model, is that a proper accurate 3D model of them simply hasnt been implemented yet. Not that I care much about that part.

    Jump to 19:00 to see the program going further. All those TV screens of various sizes you see around that room? All are usable and you can have every one of them running some game or other at the same time if you want. I dont know WHY you'd do that, but I show it off just a bit here. You can also spawn in more TVs or move things around. It doesnt just run 2600 and NES games... it can run mostly anything! You just need the emulation core files, as well as the roms. Fortunately I have the roms. ALL OF THE ROMS.

    Oh, and if you're wondering why the view seems to just sort of "blink" from one position to another, that's because that program uses typical teleporting for movement, and "snap turning" for, well, turning (obviously though I can just spin around IRL but I'm generally sitting down when using that program, trying to spin the whole chair is silly). Teleporting is the most common form of movement when it comes to navigating an environment in VR, as it prevents motion sickness. You can see me use smooth movement in the nature program shown at the start of the vid, and in Google Earth, shown at 10:00. I dont let new users do smooth movement though. Ya gotta get your "VR legs" first, so to speak. I've had this thing for quite awhile so at this point I can fly all over the place with no trouble. I do have room to physically walk around as well, but any given headset's cable is only so long, heh.

    Also if you want to see VR at it's most visually chaotic, jump to 24:00 and watch from there. Again, full VR here, so everything you see there isnt flat, it's all flowing around you as far as you can tell. I dont put new people into programs like this, that's for sure.

    And if you want to see a display of raw processing power, jump to 4:45 and then watch the next 5 minutes or so. That one, Chroma Lab, is one of the first 2 programs I always show to new people. You can probably see why. If anything is going to sell someone on the idea of what VR can do... it's that.


    There's one other major thing I wasnt able to capture in video though:

    arcade.jpg

    I TRIED to record this but for some reason it comes up as a garbled mess in video form... no bloody idea why. I hate recording software.

    Anyway, this is the real reason I bought the VR set and this PC in the first place. This program recreates an entire 80s retro arcade. See all those machines? All are fully active, all at once. I can go up to any one of them, poke it, and play it, as if it were a real cabinet. Looks real (unless you do something like phase your head into it, that kinda ruins the realism, heh) and sounds real. All other machines and anything else will still be active while you're playing one of these, it's not like the whole virtual universe freezes or something. Since this also SOUNDS like a retro arcade it is always very loud in there.

    Also you can set up any games you want in any of the 30 cabinet positions... you just need the roms for the games. And again, I have all the roms. ALL OF THEM. Some utterly baffling number of the things. I use a randomizer program to choose and set up a different set of games each time I jump in.

    There's more to it though! Look at the trailer here: Save 35% on New Retro Arcade: Neon on Steam

    Notice there's things like Skee-ball, air hockey, even a full bowling alley. The physics all behaves like you'd expect it to. There's lots of stuff you can pick up and throw around too, and a room for setting up consoles if you want (though I prefer that earlier program for console games). Also the video doesnt show the "neon psycho field" that the game loads you into when you start it, wish I had actual footage of it because that's the bit that makes people go "holy crap this is awesome" when first shown. And then they may or may not fall over, I make sure to stand next to someone who is trying VR for the first time.

    And yes, there's light gun games in there too.

    What's really amazing though is how REAL it looks. I've actually done things like trying to set the controllers down on non-existent tables, that sort of thing. Youtube is full of videos of people doing hilarious things with VR headsets on, like wildly trying to punch nonexistent zombies or outright sprinting into a doorway that in fact is actually just a wall (ouch). But to their mind, it's all real, which is why it happens. It's also why simulator sickness is an issue, but that's a different subject.



    So yeah, that's the VR stuff!

    As you can probably guess I'm a huge fan of retro gaming in general. Atari 2600, NES, SNES, all this arcade stuff, whatever... you name it, I'm into it, always have been. I do all of this stuff frequently. Same with all that computer stuff. Gotta have my ASCII games too, really. Which is also part of why I'm into indie games, come to think of it, as quite a few of those go the retro-ish route with their graphics and whatnot.
     
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  13. Dadamen

    Dadamen Well-Known Member

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    1. Life before I got a cancer (birth to March 2017), during the treatment (March 2017 to August 2018) and post treatment (August 2018 to now)
    2. Before school (until September 2010), Lower elementary school (September 2010 - September 2014), Upper elementary school (2014-2018) and high school (2018 to now), in June 2022 taking national exam and going to university
    3. Before covid and during covid (March 2020)
    4. Before and after I realized i have Aspreger's (April 2019)
    When it comes to video games, minecraft is number one for last 4 years, sometimes start playing another game, but soon get back to minecraft. Also, I memorize winter 2013/14 because from that winter Alpine skiing became my special interest, started as only interest in Ivica Kostelić, then spread to whole men world cup and now I watch almost every race of both men and women world cup. Now Ivica Kostelić is retired, just as my idol Marcel Hirscher, but I still watch skiing whole winter thanks to them.
     
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  14. SliverOfSand

    SliverOfSand Active Member

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    This is amazing! I think if I had that 80’s room setup I’d spend hours in there! XD That arcade program looks amazing too! Unfortunately, I don’t really have any experience with importing ROMs or coding things, or else I would buy that in a second! Most of my retro-games come from actual consoles, so I’m pretty clueless when it comes to emulation. I would love to have a chance to try VR one day. There are some really mind-blowing things you can do with it!
     
  15. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Eh? Importing? In all honesty I dont even know what that means. You dont need any of whatever that is to use emulation. And you definitely dont need any coding either.

    That 80s program there looks complicated, eh?

    The process: I take this giant blob of roms... which I found after like a 5 minute Google search... and I put them in the folder for roms in the program's directory. Clearly marked.

    And then the program is ready to use them. Go in, and hit the button to bring up the game list like you see in the video and snatch a cartridge out of it.

    Non-VR emulators are just as simple. Open program, click "load", find the rom file, and there ya go, game ready.

    If they were any more complicated than that I wouldnt have the patience to use them.

    Real consoles are certainly preferable but keeping the accursed things working (particularly the NES) is just too much trouble. They're all old and they break easily. Not to mention the storage difference. Every Atari 2600 game ever made, and every NES game ever made, is jammed onto this computer. Take them all as physical cartridges and I'd need a whole freaking room just to store them in.
     
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  16. SliverOfSand

    SliverOfSand Active Member

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    Good points, especially about keeping all of the consoles working! I’ve never looked into roms before, since I’m a little bit nervous about downloading things from the internet. It’s kind of a relief to hear that it’s actually easy to setup, since I always thought emulation is complicated.

    Now that I think of it, I do have a few Sega genesis roms that a friend gave me, but barely enough for a program like the arcade to be worth it! I might try that demo and see how it works though. If I really like it I’ll have to track down more roms to add! :D
     
  17. Anaaewp

    Anaaewp Active Member

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    Oh yes, I do that xD It's always something very different (a cartoon, a film, a historical subject, a band, etc), but it's very clear through time. I know, for instance, that when I obsessed over the movie Gladiator, I was turning 10 years old, just entered a new school and I would write the lines of the movie on my school notebook and quote it on tests. I was 9 when it was all about ancient Egypt and 13 when I couldn't leave home without bringing all my Green Day albums with me because I couldn't just pick one lol My family also does that to talk about my past, I was always way too into something.
     
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  18. HeroOfHyrule

    HeroOfHyrule Chicken Chaser

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    I sometimes categorize my life by what Zelda game I was obsessed with playing at the time, since I've played Zelda my entire life. If I don't know how old I was in a memory I'll just think about what game I liked then and I know. lol
     
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  19. SliverOfSand

    SliverOfSand Active Member

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    Yes, exactly! My life seems like a blur, so using my special interests as ‘way points’ really helps me keep track of all the things that have happened in my life. It is also useful when my family is discussing something that happened in the past, and they don’t know the year or month, I can just file through my interests and find a connection to the right time period. :)

    I find that the stronger the emotions I had during the period, the more intense my memory of the special interest is... do you find this as well, or is it more of just natural phases?

    I do the same thing, although your system sounds like it’s a bit more orderly, since I have to search through all of my special interests, and they can vary from books, movies, games, vehicles, objects, animals, etc. Sometimes, I’m reminded of a past special interest that I had completely forgotten about, lol. I think it’s interesting how we can create these enormous filing systems in our heads with seemingly unrelated subjects!
     
  20. Mush

    Mush Hiker

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    All my interests involve outdoor activities. Main interests are hiking, cycling, kayaking and camping. I also have a very unhealthy relationship with outdoor gadgets.

    I own four bicycles. Carbon fibre road bike, alloy mtb, steel touring bike, and what is referred to as a pub bike. I maintain them with a certain degree of enthusiasm. I’m proud of my bikes.

    I own five kayaks. Only one is ‘mine’. The rest are for the family to use. We go kayak camping several times a year. My wife and I, plus a few other couples and tag alongs are going for nine day kayak camping trip along the western coast of Fraser Island in August.

    Fraser Island (K’gari in aboriginal) is the largest sand island in the world. It is a spectacular and unique place.

    My outdoor gadgets consist of many flashlights of usually higher quality, some high quality knives and machetes, cooking stoves and pots (way too many of these!), a ridiculous number of backpacks and outdoor specific clothing.

    I love the outdoors. In my region of South East Queensland, Australia, there are so many varied environments to choose from.

    There’s some really top quality ocean beaches, islands and inlets to explore, subtropical rainforest mountains, freshwater lakes (I live 400 metres from one of these), endless hiking and mtb trails, extinct volcanoes to climb (see my profile pic), the list goes on.

    There’s also a reasonably decent city to visit if urban environments are your thing.
     
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